Games media giant IGN has been in hot water in the last week amid allegations of a sexual harassment scandal at the firm.
Former IGN editor and GameSpot associate editor Kallie Plagge last week spoke up about allegations of sexual harassment by ex-IGN editor Vince Ingenito; these were detailed in a long Twitter thread, as well as an interview over at Kotaku.
Ingenito has responded to the allegations. Meanwhile, associate editor Chloi Rad has also come forward with accusations about Ingenito.
Part of Plagge’s story was how IGN handled her accusations; she was compelled to sign a letter admitting she acted inappropriately by the media company’s HR department. Kotaku reports that this document said: “With regards to the investigation of harassment, evidence was presented to show a lack of professionalism in your part as well as others. Communication between you and Vince were both inappropriate, unprofessional, and violated our harassment policy.”
Yesterday, IGN’s Alanah Pearce announced the firm’s daily news show Daily Fix would not be shown due to a staff walkout over the company’s handling of the situation, and that work would not continue until the games giant responded to the allegations.
“To the gaming and entertainment community:
“It is with great sadness, pain, and regret that we tell you that IGN has failed two of its female employees, one former and one current – both of whom the team cares deeply about. We are devastated that two of our own have had to live with and carry this pain for more than a year.
“When the women made management and human resources aware of the situation involving a now-former employee, those women, in the estimation of the IGN team, did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people. That system, plainly put, failed them. It especially failed them but it also failed all of us.
“All of us have been wounded deeply by this – though again, our suffering is nothing compared to those of our two beloved friends – and this morning we addressed the open wound directly with our management team and human resources representative in an emotional, difficult, but ultimately productive two-hour meeting, where any and all voices were heard.
“We care deeply about what we do, and we hope our passion for video games and entertainment shines through in our articles, videos, and podcasts every day. But we care even more deeply about each other, and we will continue to fight to make this right for the past, present, and certainly the future. Any future allegations will be taken extremely seriously, and we are actively working to ensure that everyone on our team feels like they work in a safe environment; we will not tolerate the exclusion or mistreatment of any people. The human resources representative who oversaw this situation originally is no longer with the company, and our current HR rep has been transparent and willing to listen to ideas and suggestions for how to create a better work environment going forward.
“We are aware of the influence that IGN has in the gaming and entertainment community, and we will utilise that to the best of our abilities going forward. And we will continue to challenge our management and human resources teams to fix what is broken, because if we can’t or if we don’t, then IGN will no longer be a place we’re proud to call home – as content creators, entertainment consumers, and as gamers.”
IGN GM and EVP Mitch Galbraith also sent the following email internally to all staff (thanks Kotaku).
“Much of the understanding and progress we made as a group today is summarised in this post from our Content team. It is clear IGN can and must do better delivering on our commitment to a safe and harassment-free work environment for employees.
“I am taking the following steps to ensure we achieve our goals. First, I will enlist an independent expert to thoroughly examine how we handled the matter in question and, more broadly, all other important aspects of creating a healthy workplace. Second, I will turn the findings and recommendations of that review into specific actions that I will share with all of you. I will be accountable to you for delivering results. Third, I will work to give HR a stronger presence throughout IGN, including outside the San Francisco office.
“I’m not going to reiterate IGN’s commitment to a safe and harassment free work environment. Instead I am going to work with all of you to prove it with our actions and results from here on out.”